If states pay attention when they look at both Washington and Oregon from 2016 to 2017, Depredations following their lethal removal slaughter increased not decreased, the have proven Dr. Robert Wielgus Research Accurate
A new study claims government killing of wolves can increase the risk to nearby farms, providing further evidence for the ineffectiveness of the so-called “lethal control” policy approach.
The report also casts doubt on an earlier research paper, which government agencies often use to support the practice.
The research adds to a stack of recent scientific papers that question the often-used practice of killing predators to reduce the chances of attacks on cattle, sheep and other livestock. Wildlife managers across the West trap and kill wolves, cougars and coyotes and other predators, and lethal control has become more common for wolves in Oregon and Washington as their populations have grown. But many scientists contend there’s little good evidence for the effectiveness of those efforts.
Northwest Wolf Populations
Published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS ONE, a research team from the University of Wisconsin analyzed 17 years of data collected on wolves and farms in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
They found killing a small number of wolves might potentially reduce the risk of future wolf attacks for the targeted farm by a small amount. But it also increased the risk for nearby farms up to about 3 miles away.
The increase could be from remaining wolves scattering, new ones moving in or fractured packs struggling to hunt elk and turning to easier prey.
“You have this small group of satisfied livestock owners, who might be ecstatic about how successful lethal intervention is on their land,” Francisco Santiago-Ávila, the lead author, said. “While their neighbors are suddenly suffering more losses, and they don’t know why.”
Wolf Deaths and Livestock Attacks
Source: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Santiago-Ávila said the combination could result in an inflated perception of the effectiveness and necessity for lethal control. Some studies have found non-lethal wolf deterrents, such as the use of guardian dogs and fencing, to be effective. But they, too, are lacking in solid evidence and their adoption has been inconsistent.